CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- For the second time in four years, Boston University has taken home America East Player, Pitcher and Coach of the Year accolades in softball as the Terriers’ April Setterlund (Torrance, Calif./South Torrance) was named the league’s top player, teammate Cassidi Hardy (Jupiter, Fla./Jupiter) was tabbed the conference’s top hurler and their coach, Shawn Rychcik, was honored as Coach of the Year. Binghamton University’s Jessica Phillips (Syracuse, N.Y./Cicero-North Syracuse) earned Rookie of the Year honors to cap the 2010 annual award winners, which were announced Wednesday afternoon, and along with the all-conference squads, voted on by the league’s seven head coaches.
Setterlund, a junior outfielder, was a unanimous choice for Player of the Year after having one of the most impressive seasons in America East history. Also a first-team all-league selection for the third straight year, Setterlund ranks third nationally in hitting (.517) and on base percentage (.607), fifth in slugging percentage (.945) and is tied for sixth in runs scored (59). Setterlund, a three-time America East Player of the Week, leads the league with 34 extra-base hits, including 18 doubles and 12 home runs, and ranks second with 50 RBI. She also has stolen 20 bases in 21 attempts and committed just one error in 72 chances with seven outfield assists.
Hardy, a senior right-hander was a unanimous selection for Pitcher of the Year after going 17-7 with a 2.38 earned run average. She compiled an astounding 5.7-to-1 strikeout to walk ratio, ranking second among league leaders with 217 punchouts and walking just 38. Hardy, who was named the conference’s Pitcher of the Week four times, was at her best in league action, going 8-2 with a 1.86 ERA. She racked up five shutouts and held batters to a miniscule .142 average while striking out 104 and walking just 11 in 67.2 innings against America East foes.
Rychcik, who is in his sixth season as head coach of the Terriers, led his squad to a league-best 31-19 record and the program’s first regular-season title since 2007 en route to being a unanimous choice as the conference's top coach. The Terriers, who lost five starters off last season’s championship squad, feature one of the top lineups in the country, ranking 20th in runs per game (5.98) and 39th in team average (.298). Rychick, whose team posted a run differential of 185 this season, was also named the league’s top coach in 2007.
Phillips, a freshman outfielder, helped lead the Bearcats to a 17-win turnaround from last season. She leads the league with 15 homers and ranks seventh with a .345 batting average. Phillips, who was named America East Rookie of the Week three times and also took home Player of the Week accolades on May 3, ranks second among conference leaders with 28 extra-base hits and a .770 slugging percentage. She also drove in 33 runs and scored 38.
Joining Setterlund and Hardy on the All-Conference First Team is pitcher Alyssa Struzenberg (Cooper City, Fla./Cooper City) from Stony Brook University, catcher Deannie Plemon (Irvine, Calif./Woodbridge) from Binghamton, first baseman Gina Mason (El Camino, Calif./Sacramento) from University at Albany, second baseman Alexis Souhlaris (Derry, N.H./Pinkerton Academy) from University of Maine, shortstop Vicki Kavitsky (Cherry Hill, N.Y./Cherry Hill East) from Stony Brook, outfielders Jess Bergin (New Windsor, N.Y./Newburgh Free Academy) from Albany and Emily Thompson (Niagara Falls, N.Y./Niagara Falls) from UMBC, designated player Nicole Springer (New Britain, Conn./Kingswood Oxford) from University of Hartford and utility player Amanda Fefel (Baltimore, Md./Catonsville) from UMBC, who became the 10th player in league history to earn first-team honors in four straight years.
Accompanying Phillips on the second team are pitchers Kristen Emerling (Germantown, Tenn./Houston) from Binghamton and Ashley Kelley (Hermon, Maine/Hermon) from Maine, catcher Kat Smith (Pasadena, Texas/Pasadena Memorial) from Albany, first baseman Rachel Hebert (Humble, Texas/Humble) from Boston U., second baseman Amanda Dilworth (Jackson, N.J./Jackson Memorial) from Hartford, shortstop Emily Roesch (Palm Beach, Fla../Palm Beach Gardens) from Boston U., third baseman Rachel Moeller (San Jose, Calif./Archbishop Mitty) from Boston U., outfielders Meghan Tucker (Kirkwood, N.Y./Windsor) from Binghamton and Kali Burnham (Courtice, Ontario/Trinity College School) from Maine, utility player Michelle Connors (Clifton Park, N.Y./Shenendehowa) from Albany and designated player Lauren O’Malley (Pasadena, Md./Archbishop Spalding) from UMBC.
Along with Phillips and Springer on the All-Rookie squad are Albany’s Allie Weiser (Wildwood Crest, N.J./Wildwood Catholic) and Kylie Apostolina (Smyrna, Del./Smyrna), Binghamton’s Rhoda Marstellar (New Park, Pa./Kennard Dale), Boston U.’s Whitney Tuthill (Middletown, Conn./Suffield Academy) and Taylor Cowan (Columbia, Mo./Hickman), Hartford’s Jess Oliveria (Jackson, N.J./Jackson Liberty), Maine’s Elizabeth Spoehr (Appleton, Wis./Appleton East) and UMBC’s Heather Brown (Pasadena, Md./Northeast).
Twenty All-Conference and All-Rookie honorees will compete for the 2010 America East Softball Championship, a double-elimination tournament, beginning on Thursday, May 13 at University of Maine’s Kessock Field. Top-seeded Boston U. and fourth-seeded Albany will meet at 1 p.m. while No. 2 Maine and No. 3 Stony Brook will play at 3:30 p.m. The conference champion will be crowned on Saturday, May 15, and will receive an automatic berth into the NCAA Softball Championship.